Regardless of age or level of experience, there are activities that can increase a person’s ability to read fluently. Reading exercises do not have to involve time-consuming preparation work. Some of the best ways to increase reading accuracy and speed simply require practice and patience.
Read and repeat
One way to get better at reading is to practice reading. Yes, this is the common advice given, but the secret is to read the same thing repeatedly. Pick a favorite poem, passage, or even a set of song lyrics and read it several times. Read it aloud, read it silently, rewrite it on decorative paper, and read it aloud some more. There is a reason young children love hearing the same bedtime story repetitively; it helps the brain develop. Just make sure to move on to a new passage once the reader has memorized the first one. It is important to read the words, not recite them, to improve fluency. (Although, memorizing entire passages is a great skill too.)
A race of one
Forget comparing a student to a grade level expectation or other peers. Instead, practice reading in one-minute segments. After one minute, count the number of words read correctly and then record it. Recording it on a graph is great and provides a wonderful opportunity to practice line or bar graphing. Get creative and use markers, stickers, or stamps. Set realistic, achievable goals to aim for. Help the student work towards success on his level and on his terms.
Make sure to take the time to teach explicitly relevant vocabulary. If a teacher assumes that all their students have both seen and understand subject specific vocabulary, there can be negative consequences. It can be difficult for a young reader to fully understand the assigned readings. Often, words used in subjects like science or social studies are rarely used in mainstream reading materials, so it is imperative to at least review such vocabulary before assigning a reading or text.